I have heard so much about the Okanagan Valley. Rich and luscious, full of apples and grapes, the wine destination in Western Canada. It took us 16,000 kilometres to get here. There is no snow and the grass is still green, but it is still bitterly cold compared to normal. The thermometer dipped to -10 in Kelowna last night and we are still not ready to turn the water back on in the RV.
In getting here from Banff, we went through the Rogers Pass. The highest point was only 1330 metres if I recall correctly, but it sure is a treacherous drive. It is a good thing the roads were clear, unlike the icefields of the day before. There were switchback roads,spiral tunnels (for the train), and several tunnels to help prevent avalanches from blocking the highway.
Once we cleared the mountains and headed towards Kamloops, the snow had left the side of the road, and the frost was gone from the trees and grass. It was like opening a window to a garden. We went through Salmon Arm and Shuswap, the houseboat capital of Canada.
The drive into Kamloops along the South Fraser River was nice. The hills lining the river valley were a golden brown. Instead of the black and white we have been seeing for days. We stopped in Chase for a short walk along Little Shuswap lake. It was lined with dead salmon . . . The run is over and they have done their duty.
Kamloops is very pretty. Like most mountain cities, you go down forever and when you get into town, you can see houses lining the hills on both sides. From there, we headed to Kelowna. The drive from Vernon in was interesting. Mountain on the right with rockslide screens and retaining wall (I think), divided highway (thank goodness) and houses lit up on the other side of what I though was Lake Okanagan. All these suppositions because it was dark then, and we probably missed some sights. I checked the map and found that the lake is in the other side and all those houses were in the valley, not on the lake.
Today, Saturday, we are heading towards Vancouver, where at least the daytime temperatures will be above zero.
You can see Cindy’s rendition of this leg at 2fromaway.ca